About a year ago we travelled down to the Garden State Plaza in New Jersey for the opening of YO! Sushi Restaurant. We liked it quite a bit and the conveyor belt of food passing by made it easy to select the food as there was a visual of what was available. Great idea for this in a hurry or are unsure of the cuisine.
This week we travelled back for a private tasting of some of the new menu items that were being rolled out for the restyling/anniversary event. Executive chef Mike Lewis gave us personal attention and explained each offering, as well as providing a back story for each.
We started with Nanbankuze, a southern Japanese dish of sweet and sour yellowtail and pickles nestled on rice. The pickling coupled nicely with the delicate taste of the fish rendering a delightful start for our culinary journey.
The Nanbanzuke was paired with a Tempera soft shelled crab Spider roll and a sweet chilli sauce. Quite nice.
Next up was one of my favorites, Clam and Enoki Miso. There was a fine balance between the broth, the clams, and the shichimi chill powder giving subtle flavor notes.
Our fourth offering was a very tasty Ginza Roll made with fresh salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, arenkha caviar, siriacha, and shallots. Chef Mike said that this represented his interpretation of the Ginza District of Tokyo.
Perhaps the most unusual, and interesting, dish was the Kimchi Ika. This consisted of poached calamari with pickled kimchi vegetables and had a unique balance of crunch and tart. Excellent.
We were next presented with a pairing of Chazuke and Maguro Katso. Chef Mike explained that the Chazuke, yellowtail and salmon with rice, sesame paste, nori, shiso leaf, and unami broth, was based on a Japanese breakfast dish. After mixing the ingredients and tasting, I could picture it as a nice hearty breakfast with a delicate taste.
The Mauro Katso was very nice rendering of yellowfin tuna, wasabi, onion, and mayo that was deep fried and served with a wasabi sauce. One of my favorites for the evening.
One that piqued my interest was a roll called Fish No Chips, an Asian play on traditional British fish and chips. There was an intention to add potatoes to the dish, but it just didn't work. The dish did work well for me just as it was.
If we can have a play on British cuisine, then why not one on traditional American food? We were presented with nice crispy, yet moist in the middle, fried chicken with a citrus flavor. Wonderful. With it came my wife's favorite, Potato Salada quick pickled in a karashi mustard and mayo dressing. I could eat this with every meal.
Our final offering was Chocolate Mochi, a desert made from glutinous soft rice over a chocolate ganache center. Very nice.
My overall impressions? I liked YO! Sushi when we last were there, the concept and food were good. I feel that this new menu has elevated the cuisine to another level, while leaving the traditional favorites in place. The cuisine is excellent, the service good, and the prices reasonable. I highly recommend that you pay them a visit at one of their locations soon. You won't be disappointed.